[SFFn] ASRock's DeskMini A300 - Finally!

rubicoin

Cable Smoosher
Jan 12, 2020
9
1
got a little progress to report about switching the brown noctua nf-a9x14 hs-pwm (stock fan on nh-l9a-am4) to a black noctua nf-a9 pwn chromax. i was thinking about doing it in my previous post here and finally decided to give it a try.

my initial experiences with the 14 mm to 25 mm swap:

- the 25 mm fan fits perfectly into the case (no room for the longer, top mounting screws & silicone pads though), but the small metal clamps on the upper rear side of the case prevent sliding the motherboard tray in with the fan attached to the cooler. you have to remove the two screws on the rear sides of the case in order to lift the top panel a bit:


- this way the tray can be pushed inside with the 25 mm fan attached:


- after fitting all back in, push the lid down and you are ok. the only problem is that you have only 1.5 - 2 cm clearance to put the two screws back & secure the lid to the side panels, as the rear side of the fan hits the clamps from the inside when the tray is pulled back. not impossible but patience/small tools & fingers needed to get those screws back in.


- for this initial test i skipped this complicated part and used transparent duct tape to secure the lid (pushing it down on the rear side). lazy me :)


- this is how it looks when done. there is literally no more room above the fan, the case touches the plastic just perfectly. no stress needed, no tension at all! so this way the short mounting screws do not have to fix the fan to the heatsink vertically, they just keep the fan in place horizontally. so basically the fan only sits on the heatsink and could be lifted up a bit - see the original, shorter screws being too long in the 3rd picture - but the lid pushes down the fan just perfectly. no moving, no unwanted noises at all:


about the temps after the swap (with silverstone SST-FF123B dust filter applied, 2200g stock settings, so no real info here, waiting for renoir with testing):

15 min cpu-z stress @ fullspeed fan bios setting


the same @ silent fan bios setting


(in idle:
880 rpm @ silent setting = 30 °C
1990 rpm @ fullspeed setting = 28 °C)


my initial conclusion:
going from 14 mm to 25 mm (and brown color scheme to black) can be easily done, no irreversible modding of any hardware or additional accessories needed, just get a new fan kit and devote 30 minutes of your spare time. not sure about the exact increase in cooling performance after the swap, but based on noctua spec page on the same noise level ~50% increased airflow could be expected :p
 
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ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
107
55
Has anyone had any issues with the video output only working sometimes, or sometimes it does work but only at 640x480?

It has started happening for me recently and I'm trying to figure out whats wrong with it, I tried updating the BIOS but the issue is the same.

Yes, when the screen shuts off sometimes I have to unplug the cable from the back and plug it back in. I've opted to use a display cable as that's what I had lying around at the time.

I don't think it's an issue with the video out though. I believe it's an issue with the USB port. Seems to go away if I use a wired mouse and keyboard.

What you've described sounds like a bad cable, port, or drivers. I would start simple and download the latest AMD drivers for your APU:


Next, I would swap cables or use a different video out port. I like to start with VGA first to diagnose video issues if possible but a lot of people don't have VGA or Display cables any more. If you only have HDMI try another HDMI cable if you have one. Then you can eliminate the monitor by seeing if the issue is persistent with another monitor or TV. If all else fails, try doing a clean install of windows or a clean install if your driver's.

You can try to repair windows:
 

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
107
55
got a little progress to report about switching the brown noctua nf-a9x14 hs-pwm (stock fan on nh-l9a-am4) to a black noctua nf-a9 pwn chromax. i was thinking about doing it in my previous post here and finally decided to give it a try.

my initial experiences with the 14 mm to 25 mm swap:

- the 25 mm fan fits perfectly into the case (no room for the longer, top mounting screws & silicone pads though), but the small metal clamps on the upper rear side of the case prevent sliding the motherboard tray in with the fan attached to the cooler. you have to remove the two screws on the rear sides of the case in order to lift the top panel a bit:


- this way the tray can be pushed inside with the 25 mm fan attached:


- after fitting all back in, push the lid down and you are ok. the only problem is that you have only 1.5 - 2 cm clearance to put the two screws back & secure the side panels, as the rear side of the fan hits the clamps from the inside when the tray is pulled back. not impossible but patience/small tools & fingers needed to get those screws back in.


- for this initial test i skipped this complicated part and used transparent duct tape to secure the lid (pushing it down on the rear side). lazy me :)


- this is how it looks when done. there is literally no more room above the fan, the case touches the plastic just perfectly. no stress needed, no tension at all! so this way the short mounting screws do not have to fix the fan to the heatsink vertically, they just keep the fan in place horizontally. so basically the fan only sits on the heatsink and could be lifted up a bit - see the original, shorter screws being too long in the 3rd picture - but the lid pushes down the fan just perfectly. no moving, no unwanted noises at all:


about the temps after the swap (with silverstone SST-FF123B dust filter applied, 2200g stock settings, so no real info here, waiting for renoir with testing):

15 min cpu-z stress @ fullspeed fan bios setting


the same @ silent fan bios setting


(in idle:
880 rpm @ silent setting = 30 °C
1990 rpm @ fullspeed setting = 28 °C)


my initial conclusion:
going from 14 mm to 25 mm (and brown color scheme to black) can be easily done, no irreversible modding of any hardware or additional accessories needed, just get a new fan kit and devote 30 minutes of your spare time. not sure about the exact increase in cooling performance after the swap, but based on noctua spec page on the same noise level ~50% increased airflow could be expected :p
I may do that when I swap out the APU on the next product cycle. Nice job.
 
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samfisher5986

Efficiency Noob
Apr 17, 2019
7
1
Yes, when the screen shuts off sometimes I have to unplug the cable from the back and plug it back in. I've opted to use a display cable as that's what I had lying around at the time.

I don't think it's an issue with the video out though. I believe it's an issue with the USB port. Seems to go away if I use a wired mouse and keyboard.
This is very interesting.

I noticed that unplugging the power and waiting, then plugging it back in fixes it.

I also use a wireless logitech keyboard.

Are you saying using displayport fixed all your issues?

Edit: Hmm, Quango might be right, I had already tried another hdmi cable but I tried another one again and things fixed themselves, at least for now.
 
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Mackan

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 2, 2016
154
99
It should be an effect of 5V standby power and there is definitely power supplied to the USB ports even when shut down. You might try to enable the "Deep Sleep" setting from Advanced -> North Bridge Configuration and ensure Onboard LAN Power On and RTC Alarm Power On are disabled in Advanced -> ACPI Configuration. See https://www.asrock.com/support/faq.asp?id=444

Not sure how the Deep Sleep setting behaves with Windows Hybrid Sleep, Windows Fast Start and Windows Hibernation, so may want to try to turn Hibernation off to ensure you only get "Suspend to RAM" and "Off" but none of those shenanigans: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/920730/how-to-disable-and-re-enable-hibernation-on-a-computer-that-is-running
Tried changing those BIOS settings, but didn't affect anything.

Why can't you rma the unit/psu? I'm sure it's coming fro the psu. When I replaced the psu, the whine was gone.
I have ordered another one for my own money. Don't have the patience to deal with AsRock support. It will arrive tomorrow. I'll see if that improves anything.

On another side note. I noticed that while I was reseating the heatsink, and removed the SSD and wifi card, the next time I booted up, my custom BIOS settings were reset to default again. I know that happens sometimes, but it's still confusing why.

And, running while running Furmark, it locked up. Just Furmark I think. I was able to terminate it from the task manager. The GPU temp was around 60C, so it can't have been the thermals.
 

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
107
55
This is very interesting.

I noticed that unplugging the power and waiting, then plugging it back in fixes it.

I also use a wireless logitech keyboard.

Are you saying using displayport fixed all your issues?

Edit: Hmm, Quango might be right, I had already tried another hdmi cable but I tried another one again and things fixed themselves, at least for now.
No, I'm saying something about the wireless USB dongle for the Mouse/Keyboard will cause activity of those devices to fail in turning on the screen.

That issue went away when I was using a wired mouse and keyboard.

I only use the Display cables because I grabbed it first. It actually worked out well as my work laptop requires an HDMI so I can toggle between them without a KVM.
 

Curiosity

SFF>Speed
Silver Supporter
Apr 30, 2016
529
578
Decided to try a charger from a work laptop on my a300 today. 2400g, intel 256gb nvme ssd, 1x8gb generic ddr4. 65w brick (chicony A12-065N2A)

worked great, 99.3% pass firestrike stress test, and didnt have issues runnin p95 blended.
 

ramalhais

Case Bender
Nov 15, 2019
2
1
Did anyone have this issue where the USB A ports in the front and side stop working?
In my case, when it stops working i need to shutdown, disconnect the power adapter and connect it back for the USB ports to start working again.
This started happening either after upgrading the BIOS to 3.60 and/or adding 2 USB A ports to the side of the case.
 

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
107
55
Did anyone have this issue where the USB A ports in the front and side stop working?
In my case, when it stops working i need to shutdown, disconnect the power adapter and connect it back for the USB ports to start working again.
This started happening either after upgrading the BIOS to 3.60 and/or adding 2 USB A ports to the side of the case.
I did not, and I also installed the extra USB ports and back AUX port.

This is a known windows issue though. It may not be the Device it could be the OS:


EDIT: I should have said "WAS" a known windows issue. I don't know if this is still a common issue with Windows 10 BUT step one when I am having an issue I believe could be windows related is still to restart the computer.
 

rubicoin

Cable Smoosher
Jan 12, 2020
9
1
got a little progress to report about switching the brown noctua nf-a9x14 hs-pwm (stock fan on nh-l9a-am4) to a black noctua nf-a9 pwn chromax. i was thinking about doing it in my previous post here and finally decided to give it a try.

my initial experiences with the 14 mm to 25 mm swap:

- the 25 mm fan fits perfectly into the case (no room for the longer, top mounting screws & silicone pads though), but the small metal clamps on the upper rear side of the case prevent sliding the motherboard tray in with the fan attached to the cooler. you have to remove the two screws on the rear sides of the case in order to lift the top panel a bit:


- this way the tray can be pushed inside with the 25 mm fan attached:


- after fitting all back in, push the lid down and you are ok. the only problem is that you have only 1.5 - 2 cm clearance to put the two screws back & secure the lid to the side panels, as the rear side of the fan hits the clamps from the inside when the tray is pulled back. not impossible but patience/small tools & fingers needed to get those screws back in.


- for this initial test i skipped this complicated part and used transparent duct tape to secure the lid (pushing it down on the rear side). lazy me :)


- this is how it looks when done. there is literally no more room above the fan, the case touches the plastic just perfectly. no stress needed, no tension at all! so this way the short mounting screws do not have to fix the fan to the heatsink vertically, they just keep the fan in place horizontally. so basically the fan only sits on the heatsink and could be lifted up a bit - see the original, shorter screws being too long in the 3rd picture - but the lid pushes down the fan just perfectly. no moving, no unwanted noises at all:


about the temps after the swap (with silverstone SST-FF123B dust filter applied, 2200g stock settings, so no real info here, waiting for renoir with testing):

15 min cpu-z stress @ fullspeed fan bios setting


the same @ silent fan bios setting


(in idle:
880 rpm @ silent setting = 30 °C
1990 rpm @ fullspeed setting = 28 °C)


my initial conclusion:
going from 14 mm to 25 mm (and brown color scheme to black) can be easily done, no irreversible modding of any hardware or additional accessories needed, just get a new fan kit and devote 30 minutes of your spare time. not sure about the exact increase in cooling performance after the swap, but based on noctua spec page on the same noise level ~50% increased airflow could be expected :p
minor update

- about fan > heatsink mounting: as mentioned above stock screws used for nf-a9x14 hs-pwm fan on nh-l9a-am4 cooler are too long here for the required bottom fix (see left pic), so i got few mm shorter screws and applied double rubber spacers between screw head / mounting hole. this is a much more secured and cleaner solution (except for the diy painting of copper screws to black).


- about putting back the 2 screws in place which fix the case lid to the side panels: it was much easier than expected, a very small & thin flat screwdriver did the job in 3-5 minutes (tiny screws to small holes -> using a magnet & gravity wisely can help a lot).

so finally my a300 build with the new super silent 25 mm tall chromax fan is ready (8-900 rpm in idle @ silent settings), no more loose screws and duct tape fixing. will serve well for the coming ~6-8 months till renoir arrives (if ever happens to deskmini) and i'll have to take it apart again :p
 
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Alecspark

What's an ITX?
Feb 12, 2020
1
0
So, I built my a300 in January, my specs are as follows:
Ryzen 3400g
noctua l9a with a chromax 14mm fan
Samsung 970 evo plus 1tb
2x8gb corsair vengeance 2400 (I went with this kit specifically bc it was $50 new and it was Samsung B die)
corsair node pro aRGB controller and 1 strip (the sata adapter cables that come with work with rgb controllers, it's a PAIN to get the usb 2.0 cable to wrap around the mobo and plug in (my node is under the tray) and you have to cut one of the plastic guide nubbins off, but the end result is fairly stunning. I'll take better pictures tomorrow of it and post them
All in all, absolutely loving this build. it's the size of a standard ATX psu, plays my games at way better framerates than my old huge atx amd fx 6300 and gtx 750 build. I have the coil whine when in sleep mode issue, but other than that no major problems, nothing hardware based anyway.
one quick question: does anybody know of a way to lock all cores to like the base clock, or at least stop them from fluctuating/going down when not doing anything? sorry if the question is badly worded haha
 

Valantar

King of Cable Management
Jan 20, 2018
933
690
one quick question: does anybody know of a way to lock all cores to like the base clock, or at least stop them from fluctuating/going down when not doing anything? sorry if the question is badly worded haha
Why would you want that? It would generate a lot of extra heat for no performance gain (AMD chips boost up very rapidly). All you would achieve would be to stress your cooler and power supply more.
 
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rubicoin

Cable Smoosher
Jan 12, 2020
9
1
Why would you want that? It would generate a lot of extra heat for no performance gain (AMD chips boost up very rapidly). All you would achieve would be to stress your cooler and power supply more.
and also 2400 mhz ram without oc would seriously limit apu gpu performance, not the best part to cut costs on. 3000 mhz is a recommended minimum for 3400g, not to mention future renoir apus.
 

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
107
55
Why would you want that? It would generate a lot of extra heat for no performance gain (AMD chips boost up very rapidly). All you would achieve would be to stress your cooler and power supply more.
It doesn't matter, as far as I know you can turn boosting OFF with the A300 but you can't force boosting to stay on. If I was running the A300 as a mini-server I'd want to lock the cores at base for 24/7 stable use. There is a use case, but... Locking the cores at BASE clock should not yield exceptionally high heat. That should be normal stable temps with 24/7 constant use.
 

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
107
55
and also 2400 mhz ram without oc would seriously limit apu gpu performance, not the best part to cut costs on. 3000 mhz is a recommended minimum for 3400g, not to mention future renoir apus.
If a person plans to OC their ram then it doesn't matter what's on the box. If the user can get DDR4-3000 or 32000 out of those chips then it's a steal.
 
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rubicoin

Cable Smoosher
Jan 12, 2020
9
1
If you plan to OC your ram anyway then it doesn't matter what's on the box. If the use can get DDR4-3000 or 32000 out if those chips then it's a steal.
you did not mention your actual memory speed, so i assumed it's 2400 mhz. if you can run them at 3000 or 3200 thats really awesome. still i don't think there is no difference between a 2400 and a 3200 rated ddr4 kit. i guess you save money but loose your chance for higher clock rates and stablitiy with every step you take down in rated oc speeds.
 

Wesley88

Efficiency Noob
Jan 25, 2020
6
4


Added a dust filter and a Khadas Tone Board USB DAC. I was getting audible popping with audio over HDMI. Adding a USB DAC fixed it. Curious if you can disable power to USB while shutdown so the DAC doesn't stay on.
 

ShamedGod

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 21, 2019
107
55
you did not mention your actual memory speed, so i assumed it's 2400 mhz. if you can run them at 3000 or 3200 thats really awesome. still i don't think there is no difference between a 2400 and a 3200 rated ddr4 kit. i guess you save money but loose your chance for higher clock rates and stablitiy with every step you take down in rated oc speeds.

*ShruG* I don't think it matters. The difference is binning. SO-DIMM I've seen is listed with a lower voltage, so that DDR4-2400 b-die at 1.2v should clock higher at 1.35v. It's all speculation unless we know the memory kit though.

Edit: the poster said "2x8gb corsair vengeance 2400" but I didn't find that on Newegg or Amazon for $50. It was CL16 and 1.2 volts though. I bet that would OC fine at 1.35 volts and cl18 or cl19 2933 or higher.
 
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